For All Seasons is partnering with Mid-Shore Pro Bono to provide free legal services to clients facing divorce, custody, foreclosure, consumer debt, and family law issues. Funded through a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant, these legal services are offered through local volunteer attorneys.
According to Sandy Brown, Executive Director of Mid Shore Pro Bono, “This collaborative program helps victims of crime with the civil and legal matters that have created barriers for them. It brings the best of our services together. It’s what we do best.”
Ivy Garcia, Director of Victim Services of For All Seasons Rape Crisis Center states, “We are excited about our partnership with Mid-Shore Pro Bono to assist our clients in civil matters that impact their quality of life. The ability to have a warm hand-off to a great team of legal experts allows us to focus on our expertise of sexual assault, sexual abuse and trauma, all the while knowing that our clients are being served in a more robust way.”
Since starting in 2018, 16 For All Seasons clients have used the services of Mid-Shore Pro Bono. Clients may be victims of crimes such as sexual abuse or trauma. Victims of crime can also be identified as family members of those suffering from opioid addiction. The program, therefore, has also provided referrals to those who are experiencing third-party custody issues due to an opioid issue resulting in incarceration or death.
Brown adds, “Mid-Shore Pro Bono has seen an 82 percent increase in third-party custody cases due to the opioid crisis. The funds provided by this grant enable attorneys to take these complex cases at reduced fees.”
According to Brown, lawyers can also provide services for immigration and asylum cases if they are related to victims of a crime.
She concludes that both organizations have created a referral source to one another depending on where the victim of a crime first seeks assistance. She states, “We are proud to be working alongside For All Seasons, sharing funds to serve our common clients.”
For All Seasons serves Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne, and Talbot counties. For All Seasons Rape Crisis Center offers certified sexual assault victim advocates; counseling and support groups, free and confidential services in English and Spanish, support in the hospital, police department, and court, and referrals to social and legal services. For All Seasons English Hotline is 1-800-310-RAPE (7273) and Spanish Hotline is 410-829-6143.